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Aston Martin DB9

A classic grand tourer with an edge.

Not as hard edged as a Ferrari or as flamboyant as a Lamborghini; not as plummy as a Bentley or as proletarian as a Jaguar. The DB9 is a wonderful car for the discriminating enthusiast — an athletic grand tourer that’s stylish enough to attract a crowd and fast enough to leave it behind. The 190-mph speedster is powered by a V-12 engine that develops 510 hp and endless bragging rights — unless you’re parked next to Aston’s new Vanquish. That car offers the DB9’s best attributes with a firmer ride and more power. You won’t hear any apologies from the DB9, though. It drives with a dynamic sharpness yet is elegantly refined, masterfully combining luxury, sport, and comfort. With the manual out of the picture, the DB9’s only transmission is a six-speed, paddle-shifted automatic. Four buttons at the top of the center console select park, reverse, neutral, or drive and add to the sense of occasion you feel when piloting an Aston. Unfortunately, the gearbox is neither as smooth nor as quick as those found in the best six-figure sports cars. The most memorable aspect of the DB9 is its sleek, flowing sheetmetal, which makes the coupe look as if it had been milled from a block of aluminum. The convertible DB9, known as the Volante, has an incredibly stiff structure; Aston Martin designed its VH architecture for open-top duty from the start, and it shows.

COMPETITORS

Audi R8

Bentley Continental GT

Ferrari F12berlinetta

new for 2013

While last year’s DB9 was a pure grand tourer, Aston Martin is calling the refreshed 2013 model a “Sports GT.” That label is supported by a handful of changes that make the DB9 sportier than ever. With a revised block and a new head, the V-12 engine produces an additional 40 hp and 14 lb-ft while carbon-ceramic brakes are now standard, saving 28 pounds.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

ABS, front and side air bags, traction and stability control, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard.

MPG

CITY 13

HWY 20

PRO

Finesse and speed

Stunning Aston style

Twelve-cylinder refinement

CON

Overshadowed by its siblings

Mediocre transmission

Cumbersome navigation

Base Price Range: $187,515–$202,515

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Rear-wheel

TRIM LEVEL: DB9

BODY STYLES: Coupe, convertible, 2- or 2+2-passenger

ENGINE: 5.9L V-12, 510 hp, 457 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 78.0 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: 6.6 cu ft

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